As we know, fraudulent activities never take a break, and cybercrime is no different. Recent reports from prominent observers such as the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have highlighted a significant increase in cyber attacks, especially ransomware incidents, around events like the 4th of July holiday.
This article delves into the phenomenon of “summer cyber attacks,” exploring their causes and providing remedies.
Why Cyber Attacks Increase in Summer
Several obvious reasons contribute to the surge in cyber attacks during the summer period:
- Reduced Security Personnel: Business activities slowing down affect security departments as well. Although security systems need to operate continuously, the technical workforce is often scaled down, leading to a diminished capacity to handle emergencies.
- Persistent Risks of Remote Work: Not everyone disconnects completely during vacation. Many employees, regardless of their position, continue working remotely. This extended attack surface increases organizations’ vulnerability, even with improved remote work security measures.
- Rise in Targeted Phishing: The period leading up to vacations witnesses decreased attention towards ongoing work. This provides cybercriminals with an opportunity to launch targeted phishing attacks. These attacks focus on activities such as travel bookings, hotel reservations, and last-minute purchases.
Guidelines for a Secure Summer
To enjoy the positives of summer while staying secure, follow these cybersecurity guidelines:
- Stay Alert: Always verify the authenticity of communications, whether it’s emails, SMS, WhatsApp messages, or phone calls. Be cautious even if the sender appears genuine. Never click on suspicious links, download attachments, or share sensitive information, especially with unknown entities.
- Wi-Fi Precautions: Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks at hotels, airports, and other public places. If necessary, use a pre-configured VPN for added security.
- Remote Work Practices: Adhere to company security policies while using corporate devices for remote work during summer.
- Analog Security: Never leave devices unattended. The theft of a device, along with the potential data breach, can be prevented by simple precautions.
For businesses, proactive preparation is essential. Consider the following steps:
- Adequate Security Team: Maintain an appropriate number of security personnel to manage emergencies, despite reduced business activities.
- Software Updates: Keep all systems and software updated with the latest security patches.
- Remote Work Security: Equip employees with VPNs and browser security solutions for secure access to corporate systems during remote work.
- Enhance Email Security: Implement additional measures like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for company email accounts.
- Remote Monitoring: Utilize remote monitoring systems to track network traffic, access, and anonymous activities.
- Effective Backup Systems: Ensure backup systems are correctly configured, updated, and operational.
By implementing these precautions, you can enjoy a wonderful and secure summer, differentiating your experience from the intentions of cybercriminals.